Project Report-Dhruv Srivastava

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Increasing Rural visibility at low cost Apr-May 2010 DHRUV SRIVASTAVA PGDM 2009-11 Roll No. 038 Birla Institute of Management Technology Summer Internship 2010
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Transcript of Project Report-Dhruv Srivastava

Summer Internship 2010

Apr-May 2010

Summer Internship 2010

DHRUV SRIVASTAVA PGDM 2009-11 Roll No. 038 Birla Institute of Management TechnologyIncreasing Rural visibility at low cost Page 1

Summer Internship 2010

Summer Project Certificate

This is to certify that Mr. Dhruv Srivastava, Roll No. 038, a student of PGDM has worked on his summer project titled Reaching Rural Customers at low cost to enhance the brand awareness and visibility at Idea Cellular Pvt. Ltd. after trimester-III in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the programme. This is his original work to the best of my knowledge.

Date: __________

Signature ___________


Name of Faculty________

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Summer Internship 2010 Acknowledgement

I take this opportunity to express my deep sense of gratitude to all those who have contributed significantly by sharing their knowledge and experience in the completion of this project work. I am extremely grateful to Mr. Ashit Singh, Head- Marketing Communications, my industry guide for being supportive and for taking out time to help me during my project. His mentorship has set an example for me. I would also like to thank the entire Marketing Communication team for their continuous support and motivation which helped me a lot in completing this project. I am highly indebted to Professor R.J. Masilamani, my Faculty Guide, under whose able guidance this project was carried out. I thank him for his continuous support, guidance, help and mentoring before, during the tenure & after completion of the project.

Yours faithfully

Dhruv Srivastava 09DM038 PGM 2009-11 Birla Institute of Management Technology

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Summer Internship 2010

Table of Contents

S.No. 1 2 3 4 4 5

Topic Executive Summary Company background Telecommunications Industry-Indian Perspective Review of Literature Latest Data & Statistics Project Objective & Methodology Field Visit Observations

Page No. 5 6 7 12 15 17


i. ii. iii.

Jalgaon & Buldhana Solapur Nashik Survey findings Recommendations References


7 8 9 10

33 36 40 41

Appendix-I (Survey Questionnaire)

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Summer Internship 2010Executive Summary

About 70 % of the countrys 1.1 billion consumers live in rural India where about half of the national income is generated. Indias steady economic growth in the last few years has led to a rapid increase in its rural market size and has attracted the interest of telecom service provider companies the world over. Unexpectedly strong demand for cheap cell-phones in recent years revealed the untapped markets in India's villages and slums. Thanks to $20 cell-phones and two-cent-a-minute call rates, Indian cellphone companies are signing up more than five million new subscribers a month, most of them consumers no one would have considered serving only five years ago. Various marketing communications methods/initiatives have come up in the recent times to reach and attract the end consumer/customer resulting in increased brand salience for the organization in the market. Major modes of marketing communication options include Media advertising (Television, Newspaper, Radio, Magazines), Place & Outdoor advertising (Bulletins, Bill boards, Cinema, Posters), POP (Shelf talkers, shopping cart ads, Aisle markers, In-store radio or TV), Event Sponsorships etc. It is increasingly required for the telecom service provider to have an appropriate and sharp communication mix for both the Urban & Rural markets as they are very distinct in nature. To visit and survey the rural hinterland of the state of Maharashtra gave me an important insight into the nuances of rural telecom growth story. It made me realise the high growth rate potential in the rural consumers as the positive effects of a catapulting economy trickle down to the poor. As a part of the project the following objective had to fulfilled: To identify the changing media consumption habits of rural customers (Maharashtra & Goa circle) and help Idea Cellular target their marketing communication mix more effectively.

Recommend new and innovative communication mediums apart from those already in use by Idea cellular to increase the brand awareness amongst the rural customers.

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Summer Internship 2010Company Background

Idea Cellular is an Aditya Birla Group Company, Indias first truly multinational corporation. The group operates in 25 countries, and is anchored by over 1, 30,000 employees belonging to 30 nationalities. The Group has been adjudged the 6th Top Company for Leaders in Asia Pacific Region in a survey conducted by Hewitt Associates, in partnership with The RBL Group, and Fortune. The Group has also been rated The Best Employer in India and among the Top 20 in Asia by the HewittEconomic Times and Wall Street Journal Study 2007. Idea Cellular is a publicly listed company, having listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and the National Stock Exchange (NSE) in March 2007. Idea Cellular is a leading GSM mobile services operator in India with over 62 million subscribers, under brand Idea. It is a pan India integrated GSM operator covering the entire telephony landscape of the country, and has NLD and ILD operations. A front runner in introducing revolutionary tariff plans, Idea Cellular has the distinction of offering the most customer friendly and competitive Pre Paid offerings, for the first time in India, in an increasingly segmented market. From basic voice & Short messaging Service (SMS) services to high-end value added & GPRS services such as Blackberry, Data card, Mobile TV, Games etc- Idea is seen as an innovative, customer focus brand. Idea offers affordable and world-class mobile services to varied segments of mobile users. Be it high end, or low-end, price sensitive consumers Ideas tariff plans are designed to suit every pocket. With a vision of delighting its customers while meeting their individual communication needs anytime, anywhere, Idea offers seamless coverage to roaming customers travelling to any part of the country, as well as to international travelling customers across 200 countries. Idea Cellular has partnership with over 400 operators to ensure that customers are always connected while on the move, within the country or other parts of the world. Idea is the winner of The Emerging Company of the Year Award at the Economic Times Corporate Excellence Awards 2008-09. The company has received several other national and international recognitions for its path-breaking innovations in mobile telephony products & services. It won the GSM Association Award for Best Billing and Customer Care Solution for 2 consecutive years. It was awarded Mobile Operator of the Award India for 2007 and 2008 at the Annual Asian Mobile News Awards.

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Summer Internship 2010Telecommunications Industry in India

India is among the fastest growing mobile markets in the world: India, the second largest mobile market in the world, is also among the fastest growing mobile markets globally. The total number of mobile subscribers in India (i.e., the subscriber base) has increased from 6.4 million in March 2002 to around 350 million in December 2008, at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 81%, aided by a significant increase in network coverage and a continual decline in tariffs and handset prices.

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Summer Internship 2010

India, a relatively late entrant into mobile services, has benefited from a significant decline in mobile network costs during the last three to four years. As compared with a capital cost of US$50-90/subscriber to provide mobile service, it costs as much as US$200-350/subscriber to provide fixed-line services. This and the added benefit of mobility have led to stagnation in the total fixed line subscriber base, which along with the significant growth in the mobile base has translated into India having one of the highest ratios globally of mobile subscribers to total telecom subscribers.

Despite the growth, mobile penetration remains moderate: As on end September 2008, India had a mobile penetration of around 27%, which is relatively lower as compared to other countries as depicted in Chart 2. Given the moderate penetration levels at present, mobile growth in India is expected to continue in the short to medium term albeit at a lower level because of the larger base effect.

Growth expected to be led by B and C Class circles: The growth in the domestic telecom industry has largely been concentrated in the Metros and Class A circles in the past decade, with coverage reaching around 90% and 35%, respectively. However, coverage in the Class B and Class C cities is still low at 15-25%. Moreover, within these circles growth has largely been concentrated in the urban areas while penetration

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Summer Internship 2010in the rural areas remains lower. Thus future growth is likely to come largely from Class B and C circles and rural areas. Keeping this in view, larger players like Bharti Airtel Limited, Reliance Communications Limited, and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) are largely focusing on increasing their geographical coverage in Class B and C circles.

Addition of low usage subscribers and competitive pressures lead to fall in ARPUs: With growth coming from the lower economic strata and on account of strong competition in the mobile industry, average revenues per user (ARPUs) have moved south over the years. The movements in the ARPUs and minutes of usage (MoUs) for global system for mobile communications (GSM) and code division multiple access (CDMA) operators are presented in Charts 5 and 6.

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Conservation of capital In the past, with costs being amortised over a larger base and steps being taken to rationalize costs, most telecom operators were able to improve their earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) margins. However, in the current market conditions, the margins and return indicators may come under pressure as ARPUs continue to fall. The chart broadly illustrates the impact of declining ARPUs on the internal rate of return (IRR) at different EBDITA margins. Thus, for new operators especially whose margins are low because of the high set-up costs, operations can be unviable at the current level of incremental ARPUs.

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Competition set to intensify further with market liberalization: The Indian mobile sector is an intensely competitive industry, featuring 10 mobile operators of which four, namely Bharti Airtel Limited, Reliance Communications Limited, Vodafone Essar Limited and BSNL together account for almost three-fourths of the entire mobile market share. This is also the partly on account of the fact that these operators have their presence in a larger number of circles as compared with other players. With licences being granted to some of the existing operators for new circles and also to new entrants, competition is expected to intensify further. This is also leading to increasing load on the existing infrastructure of towers and stations. With most tower companies like Indus towers being joint ventures between the competing cellular service providers, the sharing of the cost is also going to determine the future profitability of the companies.

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Summer Internship 2010Review of Literature

A lot has been written and talked about the under-utilized potential of our rural hinterland. With the economy catapulting at 7-8% growth rate for the last 6-7 years, Rural India has become the starry eyed boy of corporate India. I particularly liked one quote by Mr. Adi Godrej The rural customer is discerning and the rural market is vibrant. At the current rate of growth, it will soon outstrip the urban market. The rural market is not sleeping any longer. We are. A lot of articles by eminent thinkers of our country helped me in sharpening the focus for my project at the outset. One such article was Dr. Tapan K Panda who is a faculty member at the Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow. According to him, Indian marketers have been trying to consolidate their brands in the rural markets of India for long now. The estimate speaks of the potential volume of business that can be generated in Indian Rural markets. The estimate is about three times that of the European Market. Yet there has not been substantial progress in this area. The reasons are well known. The rural market is typically a seasonal market. The consumption level goes high in post monsoon and dries up during non-crop period. The unit disposable consumption level is very low and the assortment has to be made in a different size compared to the urban market to make it suitable for the rural customers pocket. Multiplicity of assortment adds up to the cost level of the product and works against adding experience effect to the production. Furthermore the distributed settlement and high transportation cost makes it potentially less feasible for many companies to launch products for rural consumption.

Another article by Mr. Rahul Mirchandani, Executive Director, Aries Agro Vet Industries Ltd and now a faculty with the NMIMS University, Mumbai talks about evolving a new marketing mix for selling to ruralIncreasing Rural visibility at low cost Page 12

Summer Internship 2010India. He mentions the fact that 1 in 8 people on earth Indian belonging rural India. He also talks about a study that revealed that the average rural customer takes approximately 2 years to decide on buying a watch. It must be remembered that rural customer does not have a budget problem. He has a cash problem. This is because the village folk receive funds only twice a year. At these times, he is capable of making high volume purchases. At all times, however the unit price is critical and so is the pack size. Because of this, in the lean season when there is a cash flow crunch, marketers need to provide financial products, schemes or solutions that suit the needs of the rural population. The Joint Publicity Committee of the nationalized banks started advertising through mobile van publicity in early 90s in the rural markets of India. It is a potential tool for reaching customers but how do we do that? The best would be to make an announcement in the village about a show of some religious and holy films in the local language and in between we can carry the message to the audience. Rural advertising strategy is not only important for those who are planning for a brand promotion in the rural market but also for the existing players in the businesses like tractors, pesticides, fertilizers. Conventional media like television and radio covers some of the areas but still 265 million are beyond the catch of advertisers through the available vehicles! Even though there is a reach to the villages but how many of them have the rural electricity to run the shows! The rural audience may have the purchase parity to be a potential customer but his idea of consumption and behavior as a consumer is completely different. So the vehicle as well as the message has to be in the liking of the rural customer. Corporations and advertising agencies have started working out in this area. The puppet shows in Punjab, Folk media like Ragini in Haryana for communicating qualities of Virat cement, Pala and Daskathia in Orissa for promoting safe electricity consumption and tooth pastes of Colgate Palmolive, Baul songs in West Bengal for advertising insecticides are some of the examples.

Britannia has entered in to the rural market by participating in rural melas and displaying its down market brand Britannia Tiger Biscuits. These rural melas and weekly haats have become more popular medium of rural advertising by the media planners. Through this arrangement they can break the saddle of scant geographical distribution of customers in rural markets as people of number of villages assemble together to participate in the fair. It is a good ground for brand awareness building, trial sales and sampling. It provides a wider audience at a fairly low cost. Companies like HLL, Titan and Colgate Palmolive use festivals like Rathyatra, Kumbhmela, and Onam for brand promotion. These companies are following a typical media schedule and are always in a march from one place to the other with our festival calendar and a collapsible arrangement of the exhibition setup. Companies can also use popular forms of entertainment like puppetry, nautanki, ragini, bhangra, qaualli and traditional dance shows to increase the brand experience. The companies can develop a story line relating to the brand and show the characters using the brands for their advantage and even the dresses of the characters can be that of the brands packaging.

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Summer Internship 2010The Lowe Lintas s database covering 5.96 lakh villages over 459 districts suggest the best places to undertake a brand promotion. The recent example of adopting a railway station by Titan during Kumbha mela helped them to generate a high brand recall as for each arrival of the train the announcement was made Welcome to Sonata-Naini. The extensive network of postal and medical workers throughout the country can be used as an alternative vehicle for brand promotion in the rural areas. The days are not far when the postbox, post office walls and the postmans dress will carry the logo and brand names of companies, the walls of the rural primary health centers, the schools will be covered by suitable brand advertising catering to the taste of the rural target market. Once innovation in reaching through alternate cost effective media begins, the rural consumption will increase making it potentially more attractive than the urban market.

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Summer Internship 2010Latest Data & Statistics

Service Provider wise market Share as on 30-04-2010

Mobile penetration as on Jun 2009 for each circle Circle Delhi Mumbai Kolkata Maharashtra Gujarat Andhra Pradesh Karnataka Tamil Nadu Kerala Punjab Haryana Uttar Pradesh (W) Uttar Pradesh (E) Rajasthan Madhya Pradesh West Bengal Himachal Pradesh Bihar Orissa Assam North East Jammu & KashmirIncreasing Rural visibility at low cost

Category Metro Metro Metro A A A A A B B B B B B B B C C C C C C

Mobile Penetration 138% 112% 102% 37% 45% 41% 46% 52% 55% 56% 44% 31% 24% 40% 25% 24% 55% 20% 27% 22% 29% 37%Page 15

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Telecom Subscription Data as on 28th February 2009 Total Telephone subscriber base reaches 413.85 Million Wireless subscription reaches 376.12 Million 13.44 Million new additions in wireless Overall Tele-density reaches 35.65

Telecom Subscription Data as on 30th April 2010 Total Telephone subscriber base reaches 638.05 Million Wireless subscription reaches 601.22 Million 16.90 Million new additions in wireless Overall Tele-density reaches 54.10

Total Subscriber base (Maharashtra-Goa Circle) 44,461,241 (Excluding Mumbai)

Idea Cellular customer base- 9,556,791

Ideas Market Share (%) - 21.66 % (Feb 10)

Tata Customer base- 7,962,366

Ideas Market Share (%) 21.49 % (Apr 10)

Vodafone customer base- 7,395,688

Reliance- 7,475,986

Airtel customer base- 6,654,899

Aircel customer base- 420,987

BSNL- 4,989,137

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Summer Internship 2010Project Objective and Methodology

The title of the project assigned as part of the Summer Internship at Idea Cellular was Reaching Rural at low cost to increase brand awareness & visibility. The primary objective of the project was to understand the changing media consumption habits of the rural customers. Although traditional media options like TV, radio have penetrated into the rural hinterland by a great percentage, there remains a question on its impact on the rural customers. The rural community is still a closely knit community and takes a lot of decisions on collective reasoning. A lot of their buying decision behaviors are more interactive and experience based. The project scope also included suggesting new & innovative ways of reaching the rural population to increase the brand salience for Idea Cellular Vis--vis its competitors. The methodology followed included preparation of a comprehensive questionnaire which could help in understanding their daily media consumption. It more pertained to an exploratory research.

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Summer Internship 2010Field Visit Observations

Buldhana & Jalgaon District On the way to Khamgaon from Malkapur nothing significant in terms of visibility was seen for any telecom operator except BSNL. Nandura was a transit village town and there were three wall paintings seen from the highway for Idea cellular.

Idea cellular was the only operator to have such a visibility in that region. BSNL had small shelters along the highway at every 2-3 Kms ensuring constant brand visibility throughout the highway. The shelters looked to be infrastructure support terminals for the landlines in villages. Also all the bus shelters were painted by Kribhco brand throughout the village. Bus stands for villages off the highway road were present every 2-3 Kms and hence also giving constant visibility.

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Summer Internship 2010

Khamgaon village town didnt have too much of brand visibility for any major cellular operator. MTS and Virgin mobiles had given signage boards on shops as mediums of retail branding. Retail shops around the Khamgaon city had streamers, small signage boards and POPs for Idea Cellular. The signage boards were also seen to be lying on the roof tops of some shops or got hidden behind other signage boards. This resulted in loss of the investment made to install those boards at retail outlets. Jalgaon (Jamod) was travelled to from Khamgaon. It is a taluka in Buldhana district adjoining the MP border. On the way to Jalgaon (Jamod) by state highway, one observation was that BSNL had put up small boards at the start of every village giving the Village name and welcoming the visitor and also at the end of every village to wish the visitors a safe onward journey. The village town of Jalgaon (Jamod) had fairly good visibility for Idea Cellular. Retail shops had appropriate POP material and Signages to make the presence felt for Idea brand. However one concern was that boards at shops had got stolen once the shop was closed at the end of the day.

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Summer Internship 2010

The distributor at Jalgaon (Jamod) also had its shop painted by Idea Cellular. The shop being at the heart of the city market provided good visibility for the brand to local village population. Also nearby there was a fruit and village market for the town and resulted in good amount of people coming to the place. One of the retailers selling multiple connections had put up a stall nearby the market. According to the Territory Sales Executive there, new activations increase by 100% when there is such a market in the village town.

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Summer Internship 2010

On interacting with the people, retailers and sales people, I came to know that they have been growing operational issues in the town region. One of the customers that I interacted with as a part of the survey said that he had first been using Idea cellular but have now switched to Vodafone as he was not able to make a call through Idea. The network always remained congested and also had major call drop issues. Three regions nearby the village town of Jalgaon (Jamod) have serious network problems: 1. 2. 3. Jamod Sangrampur Madakhed

Such issues have resulted in loss business and brand image for Idea cellular and needs to be addressed at the earliest. Retailers are stocking less of Idea vouchers and V top up balance due to lower demand from customers for the same and also due to increasing problem of form rejection. As per retailers 15-20% forms are getting rejected which is not the case with other cellular service providers.

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Summer Internship 2010Weekly bazaars at villages offer a good opportunity for Idea cellular to increase its brand awareness and visibility. Local weekly bazaar days for the regions are: 1. Nandura- Monday 2. Khamgaon- Thursday 3. Asalgaon- Tuesday Also important festivals in Buldhana district include 1. Sharif Sailani ShahMiya Urs at Pimpalgaon 2. Sarai Mahasiddha Baba Fair at Dhanora 3. Shri Balaji Fair at Deulgaon Raja I also got an opportunity to visit the weekly bazaar at Asalgaon. It was a huge market setup and had everything from a pin to a cart which a villager needs to live comfortably. It had people coming in from 50 nearby towns and villages to buy. It could be a potential place to increase sales and brand awareness by having some kind of interactive marketing initiatives targeted there.

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Summer Internship 2010

Travelling from Khamgaon to Jalgaon on the NH6 gave a good opportunity to observe the wall paintings done by Idea Cellular. I could find more than 10-15 wall paintings spanning the 140 Km distance between Khamgaon and Jalgaon.

Jalgaon city had an average visibility. However one creative and unique medium observed was used by Vodafone. It had its boards on all the traffic light poles across the city having messages suggesting following basic traffic rules.

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Summer Internship 2010Raver and Nimbhore budruk village towns were covered from Jalgaon. The visibility along the route was again impressive with lots of wall paintings visible along the route while travelling by bus. Wall paintings had been done in the smallest of villages on the route.

The in shop branding at Raver and Nimbhore budruk was also very good. The signage boards could be seen on the shops. Requisite POP materials and posters were put up inside the shop.

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Summer Internship 2010

Nimbhore budruk town also had operational problems. There was 1-2 hr signal blackout generally during evenings. Also there were call drop complaints at nights due to extreme congestion. These problems were only coming since last 2 months. Also there was a perception amongst the customers of Idea being costly which was a little surprising since Idea has been a value for money offering throughout. Idea was the first operator to setup cellular operations in that region and hence enjoys maximum presence, however due to above said operational problems Vodafone and Airtel can give stiff competition in the coming months. The weekly markets in the Nimbhore Budruk region happen on: 1. Raver- Friday

2. Nimbhore budruk- Thursday On the way back to Pune from Jalgaon, there was good amount of wall paintings done along the highway. This was found mostly after the Aurangabad city. However Tata Indicom had a very impressive presence across the highway. They had painted every shop in clusters of 3-4 along the highway and at regular intervals. Also along the road near the army cantonment area in Aurangabad, Tata Indicom had put boards around the trees planted.

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Summer Internship 2010

Solapur The region was seen to be very weak in terms of branding and visibility for Idea Cellular. There is no merchandiser for Idea Cellular at Solapur. As a result competitor companies like Vodafone, Airtel, and Reliance have a very strong visibility across the city retail stores with billboards, Posters, Danglers, and Streamers etc. across retail stores in the city. The ratio was 1:5 for Idea Vs other brands. A few Idea posters were visible on the poles along the road. After 4-5 poles, some other brand was visible. Some poles on the extreme roadside had Idea on it but it was not visible that much.

There were only three places in the Solapur city where any sort of Idea branding was found as depicted in the images below. These were also limited to the area where Idea office was located near Dufferin Chowk.

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Two talukas South Solapur and Akkalkot were surveyed during this visit. Along the NH13, Vodafone and Airtel have gone very aggressive and almost every retail shop has a signage board.

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Summer Internship 2010The maximum that could be seen for Idea Cellular was the streamers and shelf stickers. Idea is the leading name in mobile service providers. No brand visibility was observed along the NH13 highway and NH9 highway where Airtel and Vodafone have gone extremely aggressive. Every shop has been branded by both of them. POPs, danglers and other in shop posters were also dominated by Virgin, Vodafone and Airtel. The maximum seen for Idea was shelf strip stickers. Along the NH13 highway, every retailer asked for a board as they were selling INR 40000+ business for Idea but did not have any branding of it. It more seemed as a craze for them. For the Akkalkot region not much was seen in terms of visibility for any Service provider brand. Primary issue was the late delivery of vouchers and recharge coupons. The courier company delivers the order after 4-5 days from the order date. Two wall paintings were seen on the route to Mandrup region. One of the unique medium observed was that Vodafone had put up sign boards for the Auto rickshaw stands across Solapur.

Sankratra is big mela festival in Solapur. It happens in the month of January and lasts for 3-4 weeks. 1. Weekly bazaar in Mandrup happens on Friday 2. Weekly bazaar in Wadasang happens on Wednesday The Idea point in Akkalkot had a very good in shop branding, however the shop was on the first floor of the building and there was no signage telling that the Idea point was there in the building.

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Summer Internship 2010Every household had access to DTH in the villages. 90% of the villagers own a mobile phone (Atleast 1 in the family). Most mobiles were dual-sim mobile phones. 60-65% villagers had 3-4 sim cards of different operators. The primary usage was Idea of course. They do hear the radio all day long but dont really focus on it. The largest circulated paper is Lokmatt. The other two are Pudhari and Sakaal. However they do not pay much attention to ads given in the papers.TV is a very attractive medium for them. Most of them could recall the Save tress Ad by Idea. There is no electricity throughout the day. Most attractive time to advertise could be the evening for higher probability of ads being viewed. I could find 3-4 old boards of Idea cellular at different locations where the retailer no longer existed. If we could somehow collect these boards, recycle them to have the new Idea logo and put it on for the retailers.

Nashik Moving along the NH 60 from Pune to Nashik, Idea brand had excellent visibility with the help of wall paintings. Along the 185 Km stretch from Pune to Sinnar, Idea wall paintings were seen after every 2-3 Km which translated into atleast 60-65 paintings along the stretch. After sinnar, only 3-4 paintings were seen upto Nashik.

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Summer Internship 2010Dindora district was travelled to from Nashik. Village town of Vani was also covered from there. The bus stand at Vavi had a big wall painting done and caught the attention even when I was not looking for it. Although no wall paintings were seen along the route however the two village towns had very good in-shop branding for Idea cellular. Shelf stickers, streamers and other PoP material had been put up inside the shops.

One of the issues at Vani was that there was mostly a strong wind that blew across the village town and most of the signage boards put up by Idea cellular ended up in a mess. Also the upcountry distributor complained of upcountry retailers not having signage boards. The town retailers had two-three of the same.

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Summer Internship 2010

I also did visit the Sonjamb gram Panchayat. The walls offer a potential location for wall painting to enable direct visibility to rural population.

The rural villages around 10 Km range from Vani also had good visibility in terms of shop branding.

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Summer Internship 2010Local market / weekly bazaar happen on the following days: 1. Dindori- Sunday

2. Vani- Tuesday Shirdi was also covered as part of the rural trip. The state highway to shirdi had nothing to offer for Idea cellular. Airtel had done a lot of wall painting on the way which was significant in the sense that Shirdi being a place of religious importance attracted thousands of visitors from across India.

There is also a very famous Devi ka mandir atop a hill in Vani and attracts a lot of rural visitors. Idea can tap this route to the mandir to increase the impact of Idea Cellular branding.

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Summer Internship 2010Survey ResultsPopulation size: 100 Districts: Jalgaon, Buldhana, Solapur, Nashik

Most likely to affect purchase decisionWeekly bazaar Ref by Retailer

36% 18%

Television Cyclerickshaw campaigns Poster Launch Promotion

4% 4% 10%

16% 12%

Of the 100 people that could be surveyed during the two month training period, 36% people said that weekly bazaar medium is the most likely to affect the purchase decision. Next in line came the retailer reference as the village community is a closely knit community and hence almost every person is known to the other one. There is a big trust build up due to this kind of social environment.

Effective Communication Medium100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0

72 28

Non Traditional e.g Weekly bazaar

Traditional media e.g Newspaper

72% people also said that non traditional medium of communication is more effective than the traditional media such as newspaper, television and radio. Though TV had a penetration of more than 50% in the

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Summer Internship 2010places surveyed, however the decision maker of the house i.e. Man is generally out for work throughout the day and 7 days a week. He prefers to eat and sleep once he gets back from work. He does not have the inclination to entertain himself after the long day at work. Also more than 40% of the population cannot read and write and hence does not refer to advertisements given in the newspapers. Radio is something that runs throughout the day without paying too much attention to it.

CSR Activity attracts you more towards the Company & its products10% 10% Yes No 80% Can't say

80% of the villagers gave a positive response towards the company which invests in CSR activities and helps the rural folk better their lives. One of the major findings from the survey was that the perception of Idea Cellular being a value for money offering is fading away. Consumers are beginning to feel that Idea connection is a costlier alternative to other operators. It is recommended that there is concerted effort on part of the Product team, VAS team and the Marketing Communication team to reposition the brand image of Idea cellular as a common mans mobile connection. Also there were several complaints regarding the multiple customer service numbers for different queries and gave unnecessary jitters to the rural consumer. One more insight from the survey yielded that the retail point visibility impacts the consumer more than the media visibility. Many consumers felt that aggressive retail visibility by companies like Vodafone and Airtel made them to believe that these connections were more progressive and better as compared to Idea cellular and could result in greater churn factor for Idea cellular. Also the major reason for choosing Idea for most customers is its quality and availability. These two must be carefully dealt with to offset any competition from operators like Vodafone, Airtel and others. Of the 4 districts surveyed, two had persistent problems on the above said important parameters and resulted in negative sentiment towards the company.Increasing Rural visibility at low cost Page 34

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Information on New products/services40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 34 22 16 4 16 8

The survey also showed that Friends and Family are the most effective medium for communication of new product/services launched in the market. However, it should be noted that the other two mediums i.e. Retailer and Market needs to tapped more vigorously on part of the company to increase its revenue from new, innovative and user friendly products launched from time to time.

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Summer Internship 2010Recommendations

1. One medium with high potential to reach the rural customers effectively could be utilizing the Bus stand at small village towns. There is a radio announcement which happens at every bus stand at periodic intervals. If Idea could also use the recording medium which could say something like Idea welcomes you to xyz Bus stand, Enjoy seamless coverage with Mahrashtras No. 1 cellular operator which could follow or precede the bus announcements. Also there could be our branding materials at these small village town bus stands. Maximum rural people use these bus stands only.

Implementation Idea could either use the benchmarking of the population numbers or could select the village towns that are growing grounds for other cellular operators to paint the bus shelters or effectively utilizing the above said radio announcement option.

2. Gram Panchayats are also very potential places/locations to do wall painting. Generally gram Panchayats are located at the centre of the village town. By definition, a gram Panchayat is located in a village having population of above 500 and in case if the population is below that then two or more villages are combined to form a Gram Panchayat.

Implementation Data mining can help Idea in getting data of gram Panchayats in towns with population of more than 5000. LUTs can also be targeted at first for such wall paintings. There are in total, 27832 Gram Panchayats in Maharashtra. Total no. of Villages 1150 1297 1143 1423 945 731 969 Total number of Gram Panchayats 783 1061 1027 912 786 705 815Page 36


Total Urban Rural population Population population 3,679,936 2,232,480 3,849,543 1,486,586 2,080,285 2,583,524 3,515,413 2,627,315 (74%) 473,286 (21.2%) 1,225,284 (31.8%) 233,256 (15.7%) 490,261 (23.6%) 633,031 (24.5%) 1,042,320 (29.65%) 1,052,621 (28.6%) 1,759,194 (78.8%) 2,624,259 (68.2%) 1,253,330 (84.3%) 1,590,024 (76.4%) 1,948,804 (75.5%) 2,473,093 (70.35%)

No. of talukas 15 13 11 11 10 10 9

Jalgaon Buldhana Solapur Osmanabad Latur Sangli Kolhapur

Increasing Rural visibility at low cost

Summer Internship 2010Sindhudurg Ratnagiri Raigad Satara Pune Ahmednagar Beed Nashik Aurangabad Parbhani Jalna Dhule Nandurbar Akola Nanded Hingoli Washim Yavatmal Wardha Amravati Nagpur Chandrapur Gadchiroli Bhandara Gondia 868,825 1,696,777 2,207,929 2,796,906 7,224,224 4,088,077 2,160,000 4,987,923 2,897,013 1,491,109 1,612,357 1,708,993 1,311,709 1,630,239 2,868,158 987,160 1,020,216 2,077,000 1,230,640 2,607,160 4,051,444 2,077,909 969,960 1,135,835 1,200,151 78,194 (9%) 192,141 (11.3%) 534,835 (24.2%) 398,141 (14.2%) 4,195,385 (58.1%) 803,597 (58.1%) 387,000 (17.9%) 1,937,002 (38.8%) 1,087,150 (37.5%) 485,013 (32.5%) 307,516 (19.1%) 445,554 (26.1%) 202,659 (15.45%) 627,497 (38.5%) 811,402 (28.29%) 154,030 (15.6%) 178,445 (17.5%) 357,000 (17.2%) 309,696 (25.17%) 899,579 (34.5%) 2,607,362 (64.4%) 672,676 (32.4%) 67,250 (7%) 175,352 (15.4%) 143,405 (12%) 790,631 (91%) 1,504,636 (88.7%) 1,673,094 (75.8%) 2,398,765 (85.8%) 3,028,839 (41.9%) 3,284,480 (41.9%) 1,773,000 (82.1%) 3,050,921 (61.2%) 1,809,863 (62.5%) 1,006,096 (67.5%) 1,304,841 (80.9%) 1,263,439 (73.9%) 1,109,050 (84.55%) 1,002,742 (61.5%) 2,056,756 (61.5%) 833,130 (84.4%) 841,771 (82.5%) 1,720,000 (82.8%) 921,244 (74.83%) 1,707,581 (65.5%) 1,444,082 (35.6%) 1,405,233 (67.6%) 902,710 (93%) 960,483 (84.6%) 1,056,746 (88%) 9 9 15 11 13 14 11 15 9 9 8 4 6 6 16 5 5 16 8 14 14 15 12 8 7 743 1541 1859 1707 1177 1581 1365 1931 1344 852 970 681 947 1009 1572 711 789 2117 1361 1679 1874 1575 1688 870 954 433 1439 818 1487 1049 1435 1018 1373 852 772 779 546 473 541 1313 565 493 1204 512 724 778 815 467 541 556

Towns which have a population above 10,000 can be used for painting bus shelters and below 10,000 can be used for Gram Panchayat walls ensuring a two pronged strategy for greater visibility.Increasing Rural visibility at low cost Page 37

Summer Internship 20103. The rural customers are very fond of entertainment. If Idea cellular could start a pilot initiative where very popular movies of the last five years could be showcased to rural people under the series Idea film festival. Let it be an initiative at talukas headquarters as they are generally well connected. We could showcase our TV advertisements during short breaks between movies which would help in better brand recall. Also there is a Sonu Nigam concert happening in Jalgaon soon. Idea could exploit this opportunity since its surely going to be a big crowd puller. Contact numbers are 09372168080, 08956980819. 4. We could also have some benchmark for giving signages and boards for retail points. It could set upwards of Rs 50000+ per month. This might also imbibe a competitive spirit amongst retailers to have boards. Implementation In working with close coordination with the business intelligence team of Idea cellular, information about retailers giving business more than the set threshold criteria can found where till date there have been no boards given. Also deep rural areas should be given boards which are lower in cost to the company e.g. the wooden frame support ones. With the help of sales staff,

5. There are also places where our boards tend to be not visible at retail outlets or have been discarded off on the roof. We could have our own man or have a collaborative effort with the Sales team to place the displaced boards in correct positions. Come out with some way to utilize or recycle the minor damaged boards. 6. We can also come up with a concept of Idea Choupal. Its going be a place in the village where most people usually sit and talk (for e.g. The Panchayat gram). Its a place where we try and make people think about problems and hence find solutions. The Choupal will have posters of campaigns which have been launched by Idea (Save tress, every person will be known by a number, People responses to Govt policies through SMS, walk when you talk). Sensitize people against wasting water, saving electricity, fuel. Also reinforce the fact that Idea is the best operator in Rural Maharashtra and propel its Son of the Soil image through this initiative. Idea can also involve the government in advertising its save the girl child, NREGS and other public centric programs through this Choupal. As from a business perspective, the distributor can have a stall there to get new customers also do recharges. This Choupal can also have Idea PCO phones. This can be tried as a pilot project in LUT regions.

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Summer Internship 20107. Also I could find that small pickup trucks were used by villagers to sell off their produce of the season in the market. If Idea could brand this pick trucks to actually give and impression to the people that it is Idea that has launched such an initiative to help local people. The truck would also provide immediate visibility across the highway and also in the market. It would certainly give a positive image of the company to the customer and would help in better brand recall. Implementation Farmers use local private transport to take their produce and sell in the market. These private contractors generally run 4-5 vehicles on the highways. If Idea could tie up with 1-2 contractors, give them an incentive to paint their vehicles with Idea logo. Its even possible for Idea to have custom made stick posters for these vehicles and hence get greater visibility.

8. The postal department has the maximum reach when it comes to accessing rural India. If we could locate and brand the post collection boxes and the post offices in villages, it can directly affect Idea brand recall and visibility. Implementation The post-collection boxes are mostly wall mounted or are fixed to the ground. Idea could wall paint the section above & below the box if its hanging. Also in partnership with the Maharashtra postal department, post collection boxes around Maharashtra can be painted again but will now carry the Idea logo on it in the form of a strip. The paint cost will be borne by Idea however in return Idea would be allowed a space at the bottom of the collection box.

9. Rural customers generally are very god believing people. Hence, throughout Maharashtra there would be places of worship near a cluster of villages which would attract a lot of people from nearby village towns in big numbers. The route to these places of worship as well as the place offer a potential branding space for Idea cellular. Implementation Idea could start with the wall painting of the route to the place of worship. The wall painting would start 2-3 Kms from the place to have a greater probability of visibility. Mostly people tend to doze off till the destination is near and hence if the wall paintings are visible 2-3 kms from the destination (worship place), they are more likely to observe the same. Also the paintings should be alternating on both sides of the roads. On reaching the religious place, Idea could partner either with the Mandir trust to have sign boards welcoming the people to the place of worship. This should be ideally be located at the entry point of the mandir. Also Idea should make sure that the retail points have good branding in terms of signage boards, in shop PoP materials at such places.Increasing Rural visibility at low cost Page 39

Summer Internship 2010References

1. Dhumal M N, Tayade A., Khandkar A, Rural Marketing-Understanding the Consumer Behavior and Decision Process 2. Dr. Narendran Menon, Suresh K, Customization of Marketing Mix for Rural Markets, RM86-04-006, Marketing to rural consumers-Understanding and tapping the rural market potential, Apr 2008 3. Dr. Tapan K Panda, IIMA, Wooing the rural customers!, The Hindu, Jul 2001 4. Ghosh A, Aggarwal V, Marwaha , Mar 2009, Telecom Infrastructure in India, ICRA Rating feature 5. Goyal V, Suman P., Consulting Club, IIM C, The Indian Telecom Industry 6. Mirchandani R, Evolving a New Marketing Mix for selling to rural Indians 7. Press release No. 15/2010, TRAI, New Delhi, Mar 2010 8. VNL, Mar 2009, Bringing Telecom to Rural India 9. 10. 11. 12.

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Summer Internship 2010Appendix-I Questionnaire1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Name _______________________________________________ Gender ______________________________________________ Age _________________________________________________ Number of people in the family __________________________ Do you own a mobile phone? ___________________________ What made you choose this mobile phone over other phones? a. b. c. d. e. 7. 8. Brand Price Easy availability Product features Advertisement & Promotions

Which mobile connection are you using? ________________________ Why did you choose this connection over other connections? a. b. c. d. e. Advertisement & Promotions Quality Value for money/Price Easy availability Customer service


Do you think brand is much important than other parameters like price, availability etc. when you are buying a product/service? a. b. Yes No.

10. Where do you stay? ________________________________________________________ Which is the most aggressively promoted service provider brand there? ______________ What medium of communication does it use? ___________________________________

11. Do you get attracted to these mediums? _______________________________________ What in particular attracts you to those brand promotions? ________________________

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Summer Internship 2010

12. Rank the mobile service providers in order of preference? a._______________________ b._______________________ c._______________________ 13. Can you recall any promotion of Idea Cellular? What medium was used for the same? ______________________________________________________________________ 14. Which of the below are most likely to affect your purchase decision? a. b. c. d. e. f. g. h. i. j. k. Television Radio Newspaper Wall paintings Cinema Launch promotions Weekly bazaar Cycle & Rickshaw mounted campaigns Reference by retailer Poster Nukkad naatak/Puppet show

15. Where do you get information regarding any new product or service launched in the market?

Retailers Visit to the market TV

Friends and family Outdoor Advertisements Newspaper

Other _____________________________

16. Do you think if a company uses Weekly market, Puppet show, wall paintings to advertise their product instead of usual mediums like TV, Radio etc, you would still go ahead and try the product? a. b. Yes No.

17. Do you think social media marketing can influence you into buying a product? a. b. Yes No

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Summer Internship 201018. If you purchase a 2nd connection for yourself today, would you buy the same connection again? a. b. Yes, why _________________________ No, why _________________________

19. Which is the source of entertainment for your family? _____________________________ For your village people? _____________________________________________________ If companies advertise through these entertainment sources, would you buy the product? a. b. Yes No

20. Where do all the people from your village and nearby villages meet up together on some Occasion or festival? ________________________________________________________ What is the most celebrated festival in your region & When? _________________________ 21. Do you visit the weekly bazaar in your area? ______________________________________ If companies come and sell you their products in such markets, would be tempted to buy? a. b. Yes No

22. Which is the largest circulated newspaper in your region? ____________________________ 23. Which section do you read mostly in the paper? ____________________________________ Do you pay attention to the advertisements in the papers? ___________________________ 24. How regularly do you listen to Radio? a. b. c. Regularly Occasionally Never

25. How much time do you spend listening to radio in a day? a. b. c. One hour and above 30 mins 1 hr Less than 30 mins

26. Which radio station do you regularly tune into? ____________________________________ 27. What do you usually listen on the radio? __________________________________________

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Summer Internship 201028. How regularly do you watch television? a. b. c. Regularly Occasionally Never

29. How much time do you spend on television in a day? a. b. c. >1 hr 30 mins- 1 Hr 1

b. 30 -1 Hr c.